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18 & 19 year old traveling for two weeks after 7 months in Brisbane

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Greetings,
I am writing on behalf of my 17 year old daughter and her 19 year old friend. They are currently enrolled in a school program in Brisbane area. They are graduating from their program on April 18 and would like to spend two weeks traveling around Australia.

They have said they would like to spend a week in the Cairns "area" (flying from Brisbane to Cairns) and then staying in that area for a week - then going to from there. Her friend flies out from Sydney May 3 and my daughter will be flying back to Brisbane to get her flight home to LAX. They have just started to formulate their plans.

They would like to snorkel, hike, see anything "beautiful" and enjoy. They are both young but well traveled. My daughter is from California and her friend is from Norway.

My daughter asked if I would ask my "travel" friends (what she calls Fodors!).... best place for them to stay in the Cairns area. They are working on a limited budget of course. We are open to renting them a house/apartment in that area and are looking at our timeshare as well (there are a number of options all over Australia.) I have never been and have no experience with planning anything in that region.

I will be mailing her a good guide book or two to go over in the next months but want to assist them a good base of a plan...

I realize this is all very vague but they are very open at this point, just want to take advantage of the fact that they are already there and don't really know when they will ever have a chance to head back...

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